Sunday, August 31, 2008

Can Oats Be Included On a Gluten Free Diet?

Whether to include oats on a gluten free diet is controversial. Many oats are not gluten free because of crop rotation – the same soil is used to grow wheat one season and oats the next. There are oats which are specially grown to be gluten free, but according to Wikipedia even the gluten free oats contain avenin (a protein very similar in molecular structure to gluten) that is "toxic to the intestinal submucosa and can trigger a reaction in some celiacs."

Studies regarding people with celiac and their ability to tolerate oats are mixed. Some studies show celiac sufferers can tolerate oats which are free from contamination, but a possible reason for this conclusion is that those who can’t tolerate oats end up dropping out (biasing the sample) midway through the study.

There is also new research indicating a molecular basis for oat intolerance in patients with celiac disease. People with celiac who have the DQ8 gene seem to tolerate oats better than those with the DQ2 gene. I have the DQ2 gene so I don't include any oats in my gluten free diet. The Celiac Sprue Association tends to have zero tolerance risk profile and "recommends that excluding oats is the only risk free choice for those on a gluten-free diet."

It is recommended that EVERYONE exclude oats from a gluten free diet for the first six months so that they can completely heal before trying to incorporate oats. If you do want to try to include oats, use a certified gluten free oats and monitor your symptoms closely. Remember, double blind studies are one thing but reality is another. If you react to oats, they should not be part of your diet.

WHAT TO DO: I like to use Gluten Free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal Mix by Bob's Red Mill with Coconut Milk, Peanuts and Raisins and Maple Syrup. Ancient Harvest Quinoa is a nutritios grain that can be used as a hot cereal. This recipe is from quinoa.net. I only use Ancient Harvest Brand Quinoa because it is washed and dried already which gets rid of the bitter taste.

Quinoa Hot Breakfast Cereal Bring 2 cups water to a boil, add 1 cup quinoa, reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup thinly sliced apples, 1/3 cup raisins, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and simmer until water is absorbed. Serve with milk or cream or coconut milk and sweeten to taste with honey or brown sugar or maple syrup.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Could you point me toward this research, pls?

"People with celiac who have the DQ8 gene seem to tolerate oats better than those with the DQ2 gene."

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gfonwallstreet said...

Cheerios are often the first "solid" food that parents give to babies. Do you have a better suggestion?

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gfcfmom said...

looking for research will post when i find...i would go with fruits and veggies--either puree them or they sell a little mesh bag which you can put the fruit in and babies can suck and chew on the fruit on the go. Dehydrated peas and corn are also good on the go snacks. If you need cheerios, you can buy a healthier version at the health food store and RICE CHEX IS NOW GLUTEN FREE. Save the cheerios for after language has developed or 3-4 times a week at most.

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gfcfmom said...

Here is the link to the research on oats:
The Molecular Basis for Oat Intolerance in Celiac Disease

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Anonymous said...

thanks for the research link!

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eevelvet said...

I'm gluten intolerant -- I don't have celiac. I'm doing a grand experiment at this very moment to see if I can eat oats. I added nuts, mostly to slow the glycemic spike, and haven't felt anything terrible in my stomach yet.

Is there a resource for gluten-intolerant people? I see a lot about celiac, but that's an allergy and an absolute. Intolerance is much more subjective, and I'm having trouble finding a resource that is more than anecdotal. Thanks for your help!

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